There’s no doubt IT security has become a priority concern for many organisations – high profile data breaches to brands like Yahoo, Equifax & FedEx along with hacks like The Bangladesh Bank Heist and Wannacry have led many companies to take an extremely risk averse position when it comes to IT strategy.

For some, this means a decision to keep their IT infrastructure entirely ‘on-premises’ rather than migrating any services to the cloud. But does this result in a more secure IT operation?

The advantages of on-premises

The great advantage of on-premises IT is that you can lock-it down and turn it off if necessary. You have more control on what goes out in to the world and in this time of regular data breaches, you are not reliant on a third party to secure the data.

Compliance with GDPR, where data has to be kept within a geographical location is another advantage of maintaining data in a physical location.

And if the paranoia level of an organisation is particularly high, keeping everything on-premise is a good cultural fit.

The advantages of cloud

However many of the security concerns about the cloud belong to an earlier era – which can loosely be pinned to 2014 when the new CEO of Microsoft began to change the frequency of software updates. Microsoft used to release on a 6 month basis, which has now changed to fortnightly. If something goes wrong, they just adapt their deployment.

And as this software has already been tried and tested, you can be confident that the security levels are state of the art. With on-premises systems, vulnerabilities are more likely to appear as systems grow older and eventually are unsupported.

When cloud first entered the market, there was a trust issue. Over time, this perception has moved to the point where it’s understood cloud can offer a higher level of security through the speed and agility of providers at addressing security issues.


Whilst on-premises suits the culture and requirements of certain organisations, it’s not necessarily any more secure than a cloud based service. In fact there is a strong argument to say that cloud is more secure. Put it this way, on-premise is a bit like having a house built, but when it’s finished, you could realise there’s no front door.

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